On Friday, Microsoft Azure announced it became the first commercial cloud vendor to achieve Level 5 Provisional Authority for the “the DOD regions of Microsoft Azure Government and Office 365 U.S. Government Defense” as noted on Microsoft’s website. Azure’s achievement of Level 5 accreditation from the DOD empowers it to handle controlled unclassified information (CUI) and subsequently build and host applications that require a higher level of security than Level 4 accreditation. In conjunction with the news of its Level 5 DOD accreditation, Microsoft Azure announced the general availability of DOD regions of Microsoft Azure Government and Office 365 U.S. Government Defense with Level 5 authorization marked by dedicated infrastructure for the DOD spanning a multitude of U.S.-based data centers. Azure’s achievement of Level 5 Provisional Authority adds to its FedRAMP certification and bolsters its leadership in the government and defense-related cloud computing space. The announcement of its Level 5 Provisional Authority as granted by the Department of Defense represents a significant differentiator for Microsoft Azure given a contemporary political climate marked by increased sensitivity to U.S. government hacking and security breaches. With its enhanced security credentials for the DOD, Azure stands poised to continue spearheading Microsoft’s renaissance under CEO Satya Nadella by giving investors increased confidence in the company’s ability to serve defense-related contracts that are likely to increase in quantity and scope given President-elect Trump’s avowed interest in expanding the U.S. military.